Amy’s fourth album, Grow to Catch the Wind (2011), takes her multilayered sound to new levels. A string quartet, layered harmonies, and howling cello solos all join with her signature soaring vocals, piano and guitar. Amy’s lyrical confessions pierce through the sonic complexity, perhaps more than ever. The album, her most brave and honest work yet, is the culmination of several years of soul-searching, a cycle of death and rebirth.
Amy’s eclectic sound draws on her background in classical and jazz, and influences ranging from folk to funk. “Music has always been engrained in my life,” says Amy. “It’s in my breath. People ask my influences but it’s really hard to say. Mozart, Billy Holiday, Prince, Bob Dylan…. They’re all in there.” Amy began studying music in kindergarten, and continued throughout her childhood, singing in her school choir and taking piano lessons.
The haunting and ethereal style of Amy’s songs has drawn the attention of audiences and critics alike. Her track, Carousel, from Amy’s second album, Kite, was featured in the TV show, Grey’s Anatomy, and numerous other tracks have been used regularly for programs on MTV. Her music can also be heard regularly on KZSC radio in Santa Cruz as well as other stations around California and also in the documentary titled, I Do: A Marital Discord in America.
Amy’s silky vocals would feel right at home in a smoky urban bar, but those familiar with natural landscape of Santa Cruz, California, will hear the influence of her chosen home in her music. Even on days when sun bathes Santa Cruz’s rocky coast, a chill breeze can seep in from the bay and fog lurks in the mountains.
This closeness to nature drove Amy to organize fundraisers for the Sempervirens Fund, a non-profit that purchases redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains for preservation. The benefit concert series, titled Take Back Your Forest, has already raised thousands of dollars for the fund.
In addition to playing regularly for her loyal following in the Monterey Bay area, Amy performs up and down the West Coast of the U.S., including at venues such as Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles and Yoshi’s Lounge in San Francisco.
This September Amy embarks on her first European tour. The songwriter has been working overtime for the last year to make it all happen. “I couldn’t wait to finish the new album and I didn’t want to put off the Europe tour either. Right now it’s feeling like I just need to get some things out of my system. I’m purging the old to make room for the new.”
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